There seem to be two types of Republicans – those who learned something from the Trump era and those who didn’t. Unfortunately, there are far too many members of the GOP political class who appear to have been in a coma from 2016-2020, and the rush to return to the pre-Trump status quo has been apparent.
As the minority party heading into 2022 with strong tailwinds, Republicans have one job. That job is to be the opposition. That means not making “deals” that worsen the plight of working-class voters in order to hand Joe Biden and his allies a huge win. GOP voters do not care about being bought off by payouts to obscure special interests. They care about knowing their representatives have the ability to actually hold the line.
Now, to a normal person, that all seems like a rather easy task. After all, it only requires uttering one word over and over – no.
In regards to the recent “deal” on infrastructure, the GOP should have never been negotiating in the first place. Yet, even after they made that mistake, they were handed multiple chances to walk away with the high ground. The latest included Joe Biden himself screwing them over, offering all the justification in the world to oppose any future compromise (see Republicans got played by Joe Biden and There Needs to Be a Reckoning).
Here was Biden a week ago completely backtracking on the deal he had just celebrated hours earlier.
BIDEN: If they don’t come [in tandem] I’m not signing them.
REPORTER: Do you support then, Speaker Pelosi’s stated plan to hold the bipartisan deal in the House until the Senate also passes reconciliation? Do you support that sequencing on her part?
BIDEN: Yes. pic.twitter.com/yY6rU2KNCF
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) June 24, 2021
At that point, most observers had to think this would be the last straw, right? It was bad enough that Biden had blown up the talks, re-ignited them, and then double-crossed Republicans in the end anyway. Even Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney would have to admit that good-faith was not being applied in the negotiations.
In fact, here’s Lindsay Graham saying as much per National Review.
Graham declared that he was not going to be so easily duped. “If he’s gonna tie them together, he can forget it!” Graham told Politico. “I’m not doing that. That’s extortion! I’m not going to do that. The Dems are being told you can’t get your bipartisan work product passed unless you sign on to what the left wants, and I’m not playing that game.”
He added, “There’s no way. You look like a f—ing idiot now.”
Yet, despite that harsh rebuke, Graham is back on board with the bipartisan bill, and all it took was Biden saying that he didn’t really mean exactly what he said.
Yet a week later, Graham is back on board with the bipartisan deal citing a statement Biden made to reassure Republicans. “Once Biden clarified that there was no veto threat, Graham returned to the table,” Politico reported Friday morning, saying Biden’s statement, “had the intended effect.”
Mitt Romney also backed Biden’s “clarification,” saying that he trusts the president despite having evidence punching him in the face clearly denoting that he can’t, in fact, trust the president. Further, regardless of Biden’s comments, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that the bipartisan deal will be tied to a massive reconciliation bill regardless. Given that, why would any Republican still be negotiating while knowing that the game is rigged?
There’s being a sucker and then there’s whatever you call this show of absolute failure from these GOP members, all of which have apparently been blessed by Sen. Mitch McConnell to keep this pursuit going.
Last weekend, I wrote about Biden’s machinations and opined that if the GOP once again chooses to play the fool on this issue, the party doesn’t deserve to exist any longer. Well, it’s official – the GOP does not deserve to exist any longer.
At the very least, it does not deserve to exist in its current form, and perhaps it won’t. The generation of leadership that includes people like Graham is coming to an end, and the party is now being carried forward by figures who aren’t rushing to kowtow to the very people who have spit in their faces. This obsessive penchant for “bipartisanship,” which really just amounts to folding to the left’s priorities, is never reciprocated by Democrats. In response, it should not be sought by Republicans.
Any political party that can’t even operate effectively as the opposition is a useless party. At this point, it’s fairly clear that the older generation of the GOP, specifically in the Senate, is not salvageable. We’ll see where that leads.